The developers of Clearwater Lake Club LLC in the town of Three Lakes did a great thing for the community and the tourism industry recently when they agreed to allow a major north/south snowmobile trail to cross their extensive property holdings west of Highway 45.
The trail in question runs through a 900-acre parcel that was once St. Mary’s Camp. The Catholic Diocese of Chicago sold the land surrounding the 358-acre lake several years ago to Richard and Adam Gohlke. The developers planned a gated community with condominium ownership of the 185 lakefront lots they created, a development complete with a golf course, tennis courts and other amenities.
It was a year ago that the trail closed as frustrated owners attempted to negotiate a settlement with the Department of Natural Resources over an environmental case that cost them some $158,000 in fees, penalties and attorney costs. The case was related to permit requirements for grading and shoreline development.
Though the closure didn’t result in any renegotiations with the state, the Gohlkes struck an agreement with Three Lakes Trails, Inc. and the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club to reopen the vital trail linking Three Lakes to Eagle River.
More than 50 volunteers from the two clubs were on site last weekend to complete the relocation of 2,000 feet of trail, moving it further westward away from the lake. Provisions of the renewed easement include enforcement of trail rules and no trespassing on club property off the trail.
Giving credit where it is due, the Gohlkes should be commended for acting on behalf of the community’s best interests. And we truly believe it was a wise decision, for they have sparked goodwill in area communities and their future lakefront lot owners will thank them for providing convenient access to the area’s well-groomed snowmobile trail system.
The all-volunteer snowmobile clubs and grooming organizations never take such decisions for granted, for they know how difficult it is to obtain and retain trail easements across private property. We’re just glad the two sides struck an agreement that will help winter tourism immensely.
Live nativity illustrates
Christ Lutheran Church of Eagle River and St. John’s Lutheran Church of Phelps staged a live nativity last weekend for the 10th straight year, re-enacting the birth of Jesus Christ with music and Bible narration.
The churches and those who volunteered deserve a round of applause for the work it took to bring to life the incredible story of that first Christmas — a story of hope and promise that changes lives every day.
Thanks for putting your efforts where they count, reminding everyone of the true source of Christmas joy and the reason for this annual celebration. The birth of a child, a savior, the Christ child, has always been and continues to be the reason for the season.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:22 PM|